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tv   [untitled]    July 1, 2011 4:30pm-5:00pm PDT

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commissioner fung: we do have an unwritten policy that if a fourth vote is required and we're missing one commissioner that we would continue this. i am not sure the public wants that. -- i am not sure that the public wants that. >> yes, we do. commissioner fung: okay, i am going to move that would continue this to, what would you suggest, madam director? >> i would say august 17 would be an excellent date, or august 10. any of the august meetings. commissioner fung: is the 17th of cakewalks >> thank you, commissioner, august 17 is fine. -- is the 17th ok? >> thank you, commissioner, august 17 is fine. >> we have a motion from commissioner fung to continue
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this matter to august 17, 2011. it is to allow president goh to participate in the vote. up on that motion -- [roll-call vote] thank you, the vote is 4-0, this matter is continued until august 17. thank you. >> thank you. move on to item number 6, appeal number 11-073, irene acosta against the department of building inspection, subject property 20 walter street, appealing the imposition of penalty for construction work done without a permit. and we will start with the appellant. hold on one minute, please. you will have seven minutes, as
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soon as the clark sets the timer. >> good evening. i am here to ask for a reduction of the work on this notice of violation. i had replaced windows so they could match the neighborhood without a permit. simply because when my dad was here last year, he had said we could change the windows when he died. a friend of mine in santa cruz owns a glass business, and he was asking if he could change the windows. i was like, i am not sure, but because my father passed away, since i was taking money out of my retirement plan because i am unemployed, i figured instead of paying several bills, i would go ahead and utilize him to do the job because he did not have any work. i even had to pick him up in
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santa cruz to do the worke. i did not know i had to get the work permit. i want to comply with the notice of violation and reduce it from, i was told nine times, to two times, because i understand i need it the permit, and i did not know what that time. -- and i did not know at that time. commissioner fung: is your friend still in business? >> yes. commissioner fung: have you gone after him for the permit cost? >> i spoke to him, but he got arrested for dui, so he just got out of jail a couple weeks ago and i owed him a balance of $400, but i cannot pay him. so i have not spoken to him.
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so, yes, i did, to answer your question. commissioner hwang: excuse me, why did you have your windows replaced? what was the point of it? >> i had been living in the house 20 years under my parents management, and i have two kids. when i moved from downstairs to upstairs, we did not have a heater. every winter time, the old windows were getting moldy. i did not find that safe, and it was really cold. so when my dad came home last year, i asked him. also, we got new tenants downstairs. they asked about the windows, and i enquired with my father, and he said yes. but he passed away in december. commissioner hwang: so you wanted to replace the windows because they were old, and that was it? and you wanted them to match your neighbors? is that we testified.
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>> when i changed the windows, a wanted single hong double pane because i knew it would insulate. most of my neighbors have vinyl or wood windows. i had aluminum ugly windows, so i figured i would match all of the neighbors. commissioner hwang: okay, so the window replacement was because she needed them to be replaced. it was not because there were damaged or broken or anything like that? i am just curious about the store. welcome all of the above. commissioner hwang: okay, got it. thank you. vice president garcia: was the appellant's time up? if you have anything to add, please go ahead. >> that is all. i want to comply, but i cannot afford. i am unemployed and i have a
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daughter who is a senior. i cannot afford it right now. or if i could have -- well, i cannot. so to reduce from nine times to two times, that would be great. i understand the violation. i just want to -- commissioner fung: thank you. >> thank you. mr. duffy? >> i suppose the first question i was going to ask, is it ok to appeal the probably on the filed a permit? i was thought any should permit that we appeal to pummel the on. but we don't have a permit yet.
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we have an application that has gone through. i think they may have found out what the penalty is going to be, but the permit has not been issued. >> we have always allowed people on building permits to appeal prior to issuance for electrical and plumbing. for safety issues, you have to pay the penalty first, but historically, we have always allowed it pre-issuance. commissioner fung: i think before you issue the permit, the penalty has to be prepaid. >> yes, i was under the understanding that you appeal the public and then you pay it. maybe i read that on the back of the notice of violation. anyway, i think in this case, we are slightly different from the previous one. the notice of violation was given in april. april 5, 2011, and we issued the
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second notice on may 5, 2011. then within a week, the permit was filed. so we have referred it to code enforcement. the case has only just been received so it has not been set for a hearing and we have not spent a lot of time, as much time as we did on the previous one, so i would be in favor of reducing the probably, maybe not two times, but i don't think our department would have a problem with reducing it somewhat, maybe five times or something, but i think there should be a parody of some sort. i am available for energy -- there should be a penalty of some sort. i am available for any questions. >> ok, thank you. is there any public comment on this item? seeing none, you have three minutes rebuttal time. >> after meeting the planning
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department to go through the next process, i had to pay. when i went to the fifth store -- when i went to the frigid fifth floor, since my dad is the owner of the house and i am not a trusty, i had to track down my brother and sister to fill out the paperwork. while i was there, i asked if somehow i could go and get it reduced. i inquired about the second notice that was mailed to me on may fac5, which i filed may 4 ad it was not updated in the system yet. so why was in the process of doubling the pelmet -- the building permit, but i cannot pay that $2,300 for the violation. that is all. vice president garcia: did it you submit an invoice for the work that was done? or was this a case where that went by what is normal? >> no, because i had to get the
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building permit, had to go to the planning department and i had to pay, and then i had to go back to the building inspector. when i went back to the building inspector department, i asked to speak to mr. duffy, and their guy there said that if i wanted to appeal i needed to go to the board of appeals, so here i am. vice president garcia: i understand. i must have asked the question poorly. did you submit an invoice to show what the window cost to put in? >> they did not ask for it. vice president garcia: what did it cost you to replace it? >> it cost $5,000. their estimated cost was correct. but according to planning, i only needed to replace nine windows out of 11, because i replaced with a vinyl windows and they don't want vinyl
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windows. which i don't know the difference between vinyl windows and fiberglass, it looks the same. vice president garcia: that is another issue. you were saying that the windows that were replaced will have to be taken out and replaced with other windows because the final is not approved by planning? -- because of on the windows are not approved by planning? >> yes, a neighbor complained and said the windows were supposed to be wood. 80% of my neighbors who have replaced windows had vinyl. vice president garcia: that is a separate issue. my understanding is you either have to replace with wood or in kind. commissioner fung: yeah, but vinyl, and every instance you do
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not have to replace with wood. >> commissioners, good evening. i am with the planning department. the department maintains what has been characterized as a robust set of when the replacement guidelines, the actual methodology behind what particular window may be installed in a particular house varies by property and neighborhood. a very general goal of the when the replacement policy is to ensure that the replacement window is compatible with the original windows in the particular building, and secondarily what the neighborhood context. so if the appellate had wood double-hung windows when the building was constructed, in general terms, that would be the starting place for what the replacement window should be.
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vice president garcia: ok, even though the windows may have been at maysliders, it would have to go back to the original wood? >> in very broad terms, that would be correct, yes. >> anything further, mr. duffy? ok, commissioners, the matter is submitted. commissioner peterson: i have some sympathy for the appellant, being out of work, and i also think that she bit off more than she intended with replacement. so i would be supportive of production. commissioner fung: i am in agreement, and i think she will have bigger problems. vice president garcia: did you have -- commissioner fung: motion, unless there is further comment? i will move to accept the appeal
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and reduce the penalty to two times. >> which like to state the basis for the motion? commissioner fung: on the basis that she is unemployed. vice president garcia: if i could add to the reasoning, commissioner, i would support that, but the additional reason i would give it is the fact that she thought she was in the hands of someone familiar with construction, familiar with replacement windows, and relied upon that, and she was not aware that a permit had not been pulled or was told that one was not needed. >> on the basis she was relying on experienced contractor. vice president garcia: right. >> ok. if you could call the roll, please? >> the motion from commissioner fung to grant the appeal,
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reduced to two times the regular fee, on the basis that the appellant is unemployed and rick blight on an experienced -- and relied on an experienced contractor to pull the permit. on that motion -- [] [] [roll-call vote] thank you, the vote is 4-0, and the appeal is granted, the penalty is reduced to two times. >> item 7, appeal number 11-043, page group for says the department of boating inspection, subject property 1138-1140 page street, protesting the issuance on march 16, 2011 of a permit to alter a building. the addition and substantial alteration to existing two-story single-family dwelling the two- story vertical addition and horizontal addition at rear will
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result in four story for unit residential with mechanical, electrical, and plumbing included. this is for hearing today, and we will start with the appellant or their representative. please step forward. >> thank you, commissioners. i am here on behalf of the appellant, page group, llc, which owns the building directly adjacent to the affected property. i like to submit a letter from an adjacent property. a neighbor asked my client to please submit this to you. this is not from mosque, but it is from a neighbor. -- it is not from us, but it is from a neighbor. thank you.
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great, thank you. ok, that was the neighbor's time and not mine, right? thank you, ok. we are here before you on this appeal as a matter of personal and property safety, as well as the integrity of the building code and building permit process, and to deal with ongoing. negligence -- on going up. negligence and construction. a bit of background. last year, the former property owner of 1140 page applied to the building commission to extend the building vertically and horizontal lead to produce additional units. my client owns the building next store, but it next door, which
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is an 11-unit apartment complex that directly about this building. what happened on that property is extremely important to my client's tenants and well-being and safety. indeed, all of 1140 page property adjoins the wall of my client cost wall. -- my clinet's wall. we filed for d.r., had productive discussions with the property owner, they made concessions, and we withdrew the d.r. subsequent to that, a new owner took over 1140 page and since then a number of issues have arisen. the permitee apparently started work without the proper permits, and that has been acknowledged by the letter submitted by ellis barkley. under some permits having to do
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with structural and foundation work, preparatory to extending this building, the neighboring owner did a substantial amount of work that was not allowed, and in addition, on march 12, the roof of that property collapsed. it was a saturday. a lot of my client's tenants were home. they were startled, scared, and debris fell into the light wells on my client's property, and some of the wall of my client's property was affected and harmed. as a result, a notice of violation had been issued to my client to secure a building permit to come in and fix for wall, and she cannot even get to that wall because of the adjacent wall on 1140 page. i think it might be helpful to
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show you -- commissioner hwang: sorry, could you say that again? your client issued a n.o.v., but cannot get to it? >> she is obligated to pull the building permit to fix her wall. she would love to fix her wall. she connected to her wall because the wall of the adjacent property -- she cannot get to the wall because the wall of the jessup property is in the way. we believe that what is about to crumble and fall down. we believe the entire building should be demolished, and it should be acknowledged at this point that the project constitutes the demolition of the original building and should proceed through the process as an approved demolition and not as an alteration. commissioner hwang: you are selling the product that has been built should be demolished? >> no, the existing structure. i am sorry.
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just to show some photographs. ok. this is a photograph of the debris that collapsed when the roof collapsed on march 12. this is another photograph of the same event. and just a little before and after, this is looking for my client's properly to 1140 page, the wall that collapsed. and this is before it collapsed. after the roof caved in, this is the wall. as is this. the import to that is multifold. at first, when this renovation extension was proposed on 1140 page, it was proposed as not to
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demolition but simply a rehab. at that point, it was proposed to be 48.6% demolition of the elements of the building, with 50% being the threshold for demolition. we were skeptical. however, those were the calculations. and it was approved with 48.6% demolition. subsequently, after the plans were approved, new plans were submitted with a 49.4% demolition of the exterior elements of the building. again, somewhat suspect, 49.4%. we believe, indeed, they should be classified as a demolition and should go through mandatory discretionary review. furthermore, when the roof collapsed, clearly this will now has been effectively demolished, it needs to be demolished.
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the building department has acknowledged that the wall is sagging towards my client's property. this is a grave safety and property and personal danger issue. so the entire building needs to be removed. now, under building code section 103-a-3, a demolition without a building permit means that if the demolition occurs without the demolition permit, which occurred here, and it does not matter whether it is voluntary or involuntary -- that is not specified in the code -- that means there could be no permit to enlarge the building for five years. so we urge you to dictate that this building should be demolished appropriately and that no further building permit should be issued, other than to have the same number of units that were previously there, in accordance with the building code, for five years.
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another issue that we have is the brief acknowledges that there was no not notice given to us as required under the civil code for excavation. that knowledge is on page 8, first of all, that the appellant, my client, was told the foundation would be no deeper than my client's foundation, and specifies the so the civil code has been violated. we urge you to force the building to be demolished and no permits issued for five years. vice president garcia: your time is up, but i am going to ask you a question because i think this is a complicated issue. >> id is. we believe notice has not properly been given.
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there are safety concerns here, and you should find that the building should be demolished, in fact has been demolished, and that no building permit should be issued for five years in accordance with the building code. short of that, the building now qualifies as a demolition, given that more than 50% of the vertical elements will be removed, and it should start over with mandatory discretionary review. if you are inclined to hold it as it exists, a number of conditions we request should be added that we feel are imperative to protect the safety of our client's property and tenants. vice president garcia: thank you. commissioner fung: the basis for the original agreement with the owner and your client, so your client did not do that -- i
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believe it was a sight permit. whether it was or not does not matter. has it remained the same through the site permit? because you have not mentioned that in your brief or in your oral presentation that that is an issue. >> that is correct. we are not contesting the design of the building. clearly, how far back it is from my client's building, the highest, that type of thing, some things we do not understand -- the height, that type of stain. that is the only thing we have identified that is different. president goh: -- director goldstein: thank you.
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miss? >> thank you. i would like to make a correction in my brief. the date should have been submitted on january 4, 2011, not january 20, 2010, and the application number should be -- i need to quit using the copy function on my computer. basically, this case is really very simple. there has been 3 permits that have been issued to the permit d. -- to the permitee.
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there is a foundation upgrade permit that was submitted on december 9, 2010, and that was also issued on the same day. then, the third permit is a structural upgrade permit, which was submitted on january 4, 2011, and that was issued sometime in february. work began under these issued foundation upgrade permits and the structural upgrade permits. as i stated in my brief, unfortunately, those permits that were submitted did not correctly identify the scope of work of what is the existing building and what was the new construction that should have been covered under the site permit, and that portion of the work should not have been
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approved by the department of building inspection until after the site permit was issued, so the work was done under issued permits, but i would knowledge, and i acknowledge, that they were not lawfully done. subsequent to the collapse of the risks -- roof, the department actually revoke the structural upgrade permit, has find the applicant, -- has fined the applicant, the permitee, and the fine has been paid. this follows from that. all of the damages and the rest of it. it is the permitee's